- Audio CD (21 May 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Extra tracks
- Label: Island
- ASIN: B007PTSHXG
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,803 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Spirit In The Room (Limited Edition Digipack) Extra tracks
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Spirit in the Room is pop legen Tom Jones' follow-up to 2010’s acclaimed collection of songs that was Praise and Blame, which saw Jones mark a return to his roots with work drawn from the American spiritual repertoire. Tracks featured on Spirit In The Room, include an interpretation of Tom Wait’s "Bad As Me", a rendition of Odetta’s "Hit Or Miss", the front porch blues of Vera Hall Ward’s "Travelling Shoes" and a reading of the other-worldly "Charlie Darwin" by Low Anthem.
The album once again brings together Ethan Johns (Brit Award Producer of the Year 2011) and Jones for intimate performances with a select group of musicians: multi instrumentalist Johns, Richard Causon on vintage keyboards, piano, guitars (Ryan Adams, Kings Of Leon and Rufus Wainwright), Warpaint’s Stella Wazgawa on drums, and Ian Jennings and Sam Dixon on bass. Recorded at Bath’s Real World studios, Spirit In The Room also includes gems from a diverse choice of writers: Linda & Richard Thompson, Leonard Cohen and Paul McCartney amongst others.
Top Customer Reviews
His previous album, the excellent 2010 release `Praise an Blame', started him on the road of reflective blues and gospel numbers, with minimal backing and utilising his slower, lower delivery rather than his (rightly) famous powerful belting voice. This album is much the same, but with a richer range of tracks that allow Mr. Jones to really express himself.
First up is a cover of Leonard Cohen's `Tower Of Song'. It's a well chosen piece and Jones's voice caresses Cohen's lyrics, almost like a poetry recital, as pours his heart and soul into what is a moving reflection on his place in the world. It's a powerful track.
The next standout track for me is a cover of Blind Willie Johnson's `Soul of Man'. With a restrained electric guitar backing Jones starts to shift gear a little from the low slow delivery, and begins with a more powerful style. It's the best version of the track I have heard, it's an infectious track that will just get into your soul.
Those are just two stand out tracks. The album ebbs and flows in pace, with a gradual rising in pace and force followed by a sudden return to the slow delivery. There is a great choice of covers, from the straight gospel of the self penned `Tavellin'Shoes' to the anarchic Tom Waits plea `Bad As Me'. There is room for a nod to folk (Richard Thompson's gorgeous `Dimming of the day') straight blues, and Paul McCartney and Paul Simon covers.Read more ›
Both this album, and Praise & Blame, have their roots in the albums of messrs Burke and Cash. Burke misfired, as he followed up Don't Give Up On Me with an over-produced, poorly selected album, Make Do With What You Got: Don Was being the culprit. Tom shows no sign of doing this, but I'd steer clear of the shallow reality TV Shows for the air-headed generation on Saturday evenings, and concentrate on being a serious artist.
I would add that the roots of this album were shown in Tom rediscovering his blues mojo on the Mike Figgis documentary Red, White, & Blue, and on the collaboration with Jools Holland.
The album in question has some amazing tracks. I appreciate the track Charlie Darwin, particularly, as it combines folk with almost Hilliard Ensemble chanting. Tom is also unafraid of that great non-voice Bob Dylan, in that he covers When The Deal Goes Down - 21st century Dylan to boot. Likewise, I am sure Tom found Lone Pilgrim on Dylan's 1993 blues/folk album World Gone Wrong. I would also add that All Blues Hail Mary is a Joe Henry cover, and that Joe produced Solomon Burke's comeback album, Don't Give Up On Me. I wonder what Tom could do if he explores more of Joe's back catalogue. A cover of Stop would be amazing, or God only Knows.
What Tom does to Just Dropped In also shows that he has stripped this song to it's essence, and that it is far superior to Willie Nelson's cover on The Great Divide.
Tower of Song shows that Tom's gift as an interpreter remains strong. Marianne Faithfull also covered this to aplomb, as did Martha Wainwright.Read more ›
Where Praise & Blame was a powerful slice of rocking gospel blues, this is mostly a more contemplative album, but with the same sense of ominous immediacy, down partly to the superb production (why didn`t Jones & Johns meet years ago!) but also to a new intimacy in Tom`s now-grainier voice. This is a set of hand-picked songs by the best there is: Dylan, Cohen, Waits, McCartney, Paul Simon, Richard Thompson, Mickey Newbury, and a coruscating blues - Soul Of A Man - courtesy of Blind Willie Johnson for good measure. Not to forget the wonderful Charlie Darwin, a brilliantly enigmatic song by the band Low Anthem.
His take on Bad As Me, a recent song by Tom Waits, is just right - please may he do more Waits on later albums - and his version of Leonard Cohen`s Tower Of Song does it full justice. He chooses one of Dylan`s finest 21st century songs to close with (at least he does on the edition with extra tracks, which I strongly recommend buying) in the shape of When The Deal Goes Down. It suits TJ down to the ground.
Richard Thompson`s Dimming Of The Day isn`t an obvious choice for the Welshman`s tonsils, but it turns out to be a straight and ultimately touching performance of a lovely song. And I wouldn`t be surprised if it`s one of Thompson`s favourite covers of his songs, too.
I had never bought a Tom Jones album until Praise & Blame. When I heard that, I had to have this.
I can`t stop playing both.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To hear a legend artist like Tom Jones in a style that quite different than what we are accustomed is really a nice surprise. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Montholon